According to Squaremouth, demand for travel insurance had already been steadily increasing as borders opened and traveller confidence improved. Sales peaked in the third quarter, surpassing that of 2019, the last ‘normal’ travel year. Since the announcement of the newest Covid-19 variant of concern, Squaremouth said sales rose to an all-time high. In comparison, the spike following news of the Delta variant was only 20 per cent.
“A new and highly transmittable variant can certainly be a cause of health concerns among travellers,” said Squaremouth Chief Marketing Officer, Megan Moncrief. “But the implications go beyond that, to include border closures and quarantine restrictions that can be difficult to accommodate.”
Standard policies don’t cover cancellations
However, while contracting Covid-19, including any variant, can be covered by most travel insurance policies on Squaremouth.com, coverage for other related impacts to travel isn’t as common. For example, border closures are an immediate threat to international travel plans. Israel, which was quick to close, was Squaremouth’s fourth highest destination prior to news of the variant.
A border closure is not outright covered by standard travel insurance policies. Only select policies will allow travellers to cancel if there is a government issued travel warning for a country they are visiting, if the policy is purchased before the warning is issued.
Other issues, like new quarantine restrictions at the destination, or upon return, may have travellers rethinking their plans. These concerns also aren’t covered by standard travel insurance policies.